It is believed that automotive CRM has the potential to make personnel management easy, enhances the lead proficiency level and helps in developing competitive advantage as compared to the peers.
Market experts are of the opinion that the profit margins from the new vehicles are miniscule and in this expanding world of business, the clients are keener in the final product. Customers are not interested in the kind of touch points used for interacting with the car dealers.
It makes it important for firms to make sure that the stress is not just bagging sales but at the same time, bagging loyal clients with the aim to strengthen the profitability. It has been noticed that the expenses on the marketing efforts reaches nearly 30%. It is important to balance this out and hence, introducing an efficient CRM to control sales assumes relevance.
Moreover, the CRM software in the automotive sector can be found to be complex in nature despite its size, but there are many solution providers who are able to tailor to meet the particular requirements of the industry. The vendors offering back end management tools for the dealers do not quickly add new CRM modules, which leads to the absence of definitive automotive CRM packages.
In the past, the disbursement system of the automobile sector has been the kind that the producers and end clients have been distanced from each other. For most of the automotive manufacturers, their real client has been the ‘dealer’ and stress on how to keep them satisfied. After the vehicle reached the dealer and OEMs’ dues have been cleared, the only interest that the producers had to make sure that the dealer successfully makes sales. Manufacturers are concerned with maintaining their factories, car production and the shipping them and after which the final responsibility to sell the car is transferred to the dealer.
With the passage in time, much evolved customer came into existence. Many car producers are regretting about their outlook. After getting rid of all proximity with the end clients, a large volume of client related details was lost and client preferences played a very miniscule part in vehicle production.
In the current times, the vehicles are mainly developed on a ‘push’ manufacturing prototype, which makes the transition to a fully client centric. It has been proven that when a client visit a showroom with a particular image of the car he/she wants to buy, they often have to make certain compromises in regard to features and even color.
Getting hold of the client needs effectively
With the aim to attain ‘the CRM developed vehicle’, there are two essential steps which the domain must take it forward. Firstly, the flexibility of the manufacturing process needs to be enhanced and secondly, improvising needs to be done in regard to the dealer-manufacturer integration.
It is also suggested that during the manufacturing process, important work such as paint, seating or other last-minute-jobs can be delayed until the client preferences are conveyed.
One of the most essential reasons for concentrating on ‘built to order’ (vehicles) can help in getting rid of the wastage that occurs due to the huge left-over inventories. In the most appropriate automotive space, the producer will initiate developing the vehicle after it received specific orders from the clients which lead to efficient use of the inventories and cutting down of waste. This is considered as the crux of CRM in the automobile sector – client feedback initiates production.
Although, this may face resistance from the dealers in the initial stages, only an efficient CRM tool will be able to make life easy for the dealers in comparison to the present trial and error approach adopted by the inventory.
The complete idea is for having less count of cars but more customized options, which will help getting rid of the features or options that clients do not even require. It is important for a shift towards the satisfied customers from quota fulfillment.
Many experts are of the opinion that the most suitable tagline for CRM in the automotive space should be “We build what you want.”
Mapping of the automotive sales team and client relationship
If the sales personnel are in favour of CRM tool and can be convinced to closely work for the better vertical good, they enjoy the potential to introduce in huge value to the client and vendor relationship management process.
- Foreseeing demand
The auto sector witnesses existing problem of correct demand measurement, the solution to which is not just technological in nature. At times, many options of care are not even provided to the clients, which results the failed attempt to judge the demand situation. Via a comprehensive CRM tool which has the potential to incorporate social CRM, the sales reps has the potential to make quick notes about the client needs, interests apart from setting up links between features and particular client demands while maintaining a close watch on the offerings made by the peer groups. It can be put forth and can prove effective in regard to higher user adoption.
- Monitoring open activities
Clients usually have stricter preferences in regard to when they want to be contacted by the sales personnel and often require written material/ reviews/ catalogues for carrying out further or negotiations. This details and related tasks can be easily captured in the CRM tool for every client in the database, making it available via a central repository. Moreover, customization of escalation rules can be done for ensuring effective follow ups.
- Auto populating campaign participants
It is believed that connections can be established between clients and marketing initiatives via an efficient CRM tool as client names can come up against a specific marketing initiative or any particular segment can be proposed for optimizing the lead generation process.
- Calculating ROI for the new initiatives
Integrating with varied systems and collate expenses and the outcomes of different vendor/ dealer related marketing initiatives and incentives on a single CRM tool for ensuring accurate calculation of ROI.
- Attaining CRM success in the automotive space
More marketing professionals are finding that the simple implementation of a CRM domain is not just the solution that can help in bagging, communicating and also retaining the clients. It has been noted that there is a communication gap between the clients and companies which cannot be bridged by the IT solutions.
Studies state that the automobile company-client interactions take place nearly 1.5 times per annum which do not offer enough data to answer queries like which client should receive which offer. It needs to be understood that the auto players should take up such an approach to CRM that can be embraced by both the marketers and clients
It is widely believed that the auto CRM programs should incorporate two essential principles with the aim to succeed –
- Realizing the relevance of purchase cycle
It is believed that an efficient CRM tool should delve deep into i=understanding the nuances of clients’ buying decision before the final purchase is being made and at the same time understand the clients’ requirements.
- Analyzing experience of ownership
As varied clients follow different ownership paths, good CRM tools should set up a deep link to all individual’s ownership experience, their ties with the automotive throughout the ownership cycle. A single repository with complete information of all essential details such as services, AMC, insurance, complaints will offer analytical insights and also prove helpful in redesigning of strategies to optimize client experience.
For attaining success with the above mentioned principles, it is essential to unveil technology programs on timely basis that is of mutual benefit for customers and auto companies both.
It has been found that just 65% of the clients ensure the usage of Internet during the buying cycle in the automotive domain. It is widely believed that the interactive kiosks in the dealer shops or places like shopping malls are a great place for engaging with clients. Web based systems also prove helpful in capturing the essential client insights in the middle of the buying cycle. It won’t be incorrect to say that Internet activity is a great way to attain buying cycle intimacy.
In the coming few years
CRM will be able to elevate the future of the automotive space. With properly implemented CRM initiatives, the future will witness that the automotive websites undertaking changes as per the requirements of the clients’ needs and preferences. It will also strengthen the companies’ abilities to attain improved purchase cycle.
Moreover, good automotive CRM systems will be able to inculcate important client feedback and data will flow back to the dealers and manufacturers, which will help in the designing the right follow up campaigns so that the gap between sales and marketing can be bridged.